Chapter 4 highlights the history of law enforcement and links that history to the way that police agencies are organized today.

Topic: History and Development of the Police

  • The institution of the police is a relatively new phenomenon, although police have existed in one form or another for thousands of years.
  • Early forms of the police usually derived from the military.
  • S. law enforcement is based on the English system, especially in terms of limited police authority, local control, and a fragmented system.
  • In the south and the west of the United States, vigilante movements provided some social control in areas that lacked established and effective law enforcement            
  • In 1833, Philadelphia organized the first dedicated police force, followed by Boston in 1838. The first New York City police agency, the Municipal Police Force, was created in 1845. The modern New York City Police Department  formed in 1898 when the state legislature ordered local cities, towns, and villages to consolidate into a single city called New York City, and the police department of the Greater City of New York absorbed the smaller police Chicago developed a police force around 1855.
  • In 1931, August Vollmer wrote the Wickersham Commission report. Vollmer advocated that police be non-partisan, use scientific principles, become more specialized, and be led by qualified executives who could run large   

Topic: Levels of Law Enforcement

  • Federal law enforcement agencies have nationwide jurisdiction but concentrate on specific offenses.
  • State-level law enforcement is organized in a variety of ways, with each state having a slightly different system. Highway patrol units are the most well-        known of the state agencies.
  • Local law enforcement agencies handle most of the nation's crime. There are about 12,000 local police departments in the United States.
  • Sheriffs' offices are the most common form of county law enforcement in the United States, with 3,063 offices.

Topic: The Nature of the Police; How They Work; What They Do

  • James Q. Wilson identified three styles of policing: watchman style, legalistic style, and service style.
  • The watchman style distinguishes between two mandates of policing: order maintenance and law enforcement.
  • The legalistic style exercises little discretion and enforces the law by writing more tickets, making more arrests, and encouraging victims to sign complaints.
  • The service style shares characteristics with the other two styles but focuses primarily on service to the community and the citizens.
  • A major function of policing is solving problems, including domestic disputes, crowd control, vice activities, dealing with the mentally ill and juveniles, and providing first response.
  • A new way of thinking in terms of how to organize the police is the concept of community policing. The Department of Justice’s Community-Oriented Policing Services defines community policing as organizational strategies that support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to address the immediate conditions that give rise to crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.
  • In many ways, problem-oriented policing can be thought of as an aspect of community policing. Problem-oriented policing is designed to make more fundamental changes than community policing. Problem-oriented policing greatly expands the role of the police officer from one of reaction to one of proactive problem-solving. It allows police agencies to address crime on a   more systemic level than traditional policing.
  • Zero-tolerance policing is the idea that if every infraction of the law is met with an arrest, fine, or other punishment, offenders will refrain from more serious activities. An important element of zero-tolerance policing is broken-windows perspective, which holds that crime follows community neglect.